Affiliate marketing glossary for beginners and vets
The affiliate marketing industry – just like any other industry in the online or offline world – has it’s own jargon. If you want to fully understand the “how to affiliate marketing” topic, you need to know and to understand these terms and concepts. Here is a small collection with the most important terms you should know.
Abandonment; an uncompleted purchase or transaction with unpaid items left in the shopping cart.
A/B testing (or split testing); useful method to test, analyze and compare the conversion rates obtained with two different graphical, structural, etc versions of the same offer (e. g. testing two different marketing copies or two different email templates).
Above the fold; the upper section of a web page which is completely visible without scrolling.
Advertiser (or merchant); the party who has the products or services that you can promote as an affiliate.
Affiliate agreement; an agreement between the advertiser and the publisher defining the rules, responsibilities and legalities of their partnership.
Affiliate (or publisher); an independent individual who agrees to promote products or services for an advertiser in exchange for a well defined reward.
Affiliate ID; a unique identifier included in your affiliate link and used to track your personal performance.
Affiliate link; a special URL provided by the advertiser and associated with a given affiliate; contains a unique tracking code that can register and measure the performance of the given affiliate.
Affiliate manager; the person who is performing all the management tasks for the affiliate platform owned by a given advertiser. It can be an employee or an external service provider and is responsible for promotion, recruitment, onboarding, payments, complaints, etc.
Affiliate network; an external third party who basically works as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers, providing the necessary technical platform and complete packages of management services for both sides.
Affiliate program; a performance-oriented partnership between a merchant (advertiser) and an independent individual promoter (affiliate). The advertiser agrees to share the profit with the affiliates in exchange for generating certain qualified actions, usually sales.
Affiliate software; a software used by merchants to run and manage their own affiliate program as as “independent” in-house platform without using external affiliate networks as intermediaries.
Anchor text; the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink.
Anonymizer; desktop software or online service used to hide the visitor’s IP address.
Auto approval; an automatic and instant way to approve the application of a new affiliate for a given affiliate program. The opposite is the manual approval, where a new joining request is approved or denied manually by the affiliate manager.
Avatar; an icon, image or figure used to represent a given person in an online community (game, blog, forum, etc).
Average order value (or AOV); it means what it means, the average amount of sale. It’s a quite useful metric that gives you an idea about the existing interest rate.
Bad neighborhood; an umbrella term covering websites that utilize unethical methods, black hat techniques, etc to improve their SEO results. Any links to such sites will have serious negative consequences for the original (linking) website. The most common characteristics are: negative PPC links (porn, gambling, etc), link collections or too many links without enough content, anything that is spammy (links, adverts, etc), lack of content or substandard content.
Black hat SEO; unethical techniques used against Google’s webmaster guidelines – e. g. hidden content, keyword stuffing, duplicate content – in order to achieve better search engine rankings.
Blog; a regularly updated website aiming a specific target group and containing chronological publications, articles on personal or individual thoughts.
Bounce rate; a metric expressed as a percentage and used to measure the proportion of visits that end on the first page of a given website. A low bounce rate is equal with an effective, well-performing entry page that can generate a certain level of interest encouraging visitors to visit more pages before leaving.